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article imageArmy, Rebels, Clash in Central African Republic

By Christopher Szabo     Jun 14, 2009 in World
Fighting has broken out between government forces and rebels in the Central African Republic. The Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP) rebels claim they have killed 24 soldiers.
According to Independent Online, CPJP spokesman Assan M'bringa Togbo, said the fighting had lasted a few hours, adding that the rebels had killed 24 soldiers, three of them officers.
A military officer, however, rejected the rebel figures, saying two soldiers had been killed and six wounded. The CPJP said a heavily armed army convoy had attacked their camp, but had been ”driven off” by a forward observation post outside the main camp. The rebels also claimed they had not suffered any casualties and had captured one army truck and some ammunition.
The CJPJ rebels are followers of former minister of mines Charles Massie, who was recently captured in neighbouring Chad and is awaiting trial there. Massie served in the government of President Ange-Felix Patasse, who was ousted by the current president, Francois Bozize.
The rebels refuse to sign a peace accord and have repeatedly clashed with army units in the northwestern part of the country, near the Chadian border.
The Central African Republic has had a chequered history since independence in 1958, with dictator Jean-Bedel Bokassa declaring himself ”emperor.” He was later charged with, among other things, cannibalism.
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